I had never been to Newcastle before. The only thing I really knew about it was that girls wear next to nothing in mid winter when out clubbing. That’s really the case throughout the UK, but it’s more poignant in Newcastle due to the inclement temperatures. That is probably an awful stereotype, but it’s truly the only thing I knew about the place! I’m happy to say now that I have a much more well-rounded view of Newcastle.
We were invited up by friends who have moved up there, and they showed us round the town. After parking the car in a car park that could double as a helter skelter (I felt sick by the time we reached the top!) we headed straight for the River Tyne. We were met by a Giant Slug!
I love this building! It looks like something out of a Sci Fi film. It was designed by Norman Foster, the same person who designed the Gherkin in London. It is actually called The Sage (not the slug!) and is a concert hall. It overlooks the River Tyne, which I imagined to be all industrial but has been gentrified, with a cool new bridge and trendy art gallery. The below photo shows the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which has a path along the bottom of it, but opens by tipping up (as shown in photo) when obviously no pedestrians can be walking on it, unless they want to get very wet.
The old Tyne Bridge still stands watch over the city though, accompanied by several other bridges of various types. It was fun to go over one on the train and get a fleeting glimpse of the Tyne Bridge from another angle. Note the bridge that opens on a pivot to let boats through.
The next day we drove to the countryside north of Newcastle and had a walk around a lake, before visiting a beach. I was NOT expecting this – without wanting to sound ignorant, I didn’t really know there were beaches “Up North”, and certainly not clean or pretty beaches. BUT, I will eat my words as I was pleasantly surprised. It felt more like we were in New Zealand than in Newcastle!
So overall a good time was had by all, and we enjoyed seeing our friends. I also enjoyed hearing the Newcastle accents. Cos you’re in the UK you think you’re at home, and then you hear someone speak and it reminds you that you’re on holiday! Hooray for diversity – much more exciting! 🙂
Next blog: Stratford Upon Avon, UK
Previous blog: Wells, Somerset, UK